A guardianship is a legal relationship created by a court between a guardian and his or her ward, either a minor child or an incapacitated adult.
It may necessary when a person, because of a mental or physical disability, is no longer able to properly manage his or her affairs. It allows another person, most often a close relative, to make both financial and health care decisions for the incapacitated person.
In many cases, proper disability planning prior to the onset of the disability can make a guardianship proceeding unnecessary. For example, if you have proactively set up a plan to protect your assets, have written a living will and appointed a healthcare proxy, all the information is set in place in advance for what should happen if and when you are unable to legally act on your own behalf, either due to medical or mental incapacity.
Nevertheless, there are times that a guardianship appointment may be necessary. This type of situation occurs when a plan has not been place prior to unexpected emergencies or in the event of mental decline such as Alzheimer’s. In such cases, it may become necessary to appeal to the courts for application for guardianship. In cases such as these, we can handle the process from start to finish, from the filing of the petition to the court hearing(s) and through the appointment of the client as guardian.
Ultimately the best solution is to plan ahead, but in the event that you need assistance setting up guardianship, Haas & Zaltz, LLP can help.